GUEST BLOG: Beyond the graduate fair – what to do next

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green

Guest blog written by Scott Logic.

You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but it seems many students still  believe that they’ll get their degree, toss their mortar board into the air and casually stroll into their dream job. Sadly this is rarely the case, regardless of your academic talent.

More commonly, students must gain work experience and secure placement opportunities while they are studying, and unless they’ve been fortunate enough to line up a job to go straight into, once they graduate, are likely to experience a cycle of submitting CVs, and job applications or speculative enquires, to a wealth of potential employers.

Graduate careers fairs offer a great opportunity to get noticed by potential employers before your time at university comes to an end. They’re a good way to meet businesses, not only to discover any available positions and placements they may have, but also to ask questions and gain information that may help you find out about future roles with them, and how to stand out if you decide to apply.

But what about after the fair is over? What should you do after the event? We talk you through the dos and don’ts.

Do get social

During the event, a potential employer will come into contact with hundreds of prospective applicants, so making yourself memorable can be tough. To stick in their mind long after the event has finished, you should start to build a relationship with them. Follow them on Facebook, comment on their Twitter posts and engage with them on the social media platforms where they’re most active. Getting involved will show them just how keen you are, but please ensure your own social media profiles present you appropriately and at your best

There can be other perks of going social. For example, Scott Logic, a leading software development consultancy, attended this year’s graduate careers fair at the University of York. As well as detailing the day’s events, the brand used Twitter to run a prize draw. Anyone sharing or engaging with one of their Tweets from the event, using the hashtag #SLgrads2016, was entered into a prize draw to win £20 Pizza Express vouchers. And that’s not all; by signing up to Scott Logic’s mailing list at the event using its iPad, students were automatically entered into an additional prize draw, this time to win £150 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Do get in touch quickly

You may feel a sense of achievement after attending a careers fair, as you’ve taken an important step towards finding your dream job, and you may have also made a great first impression. If you did spot any suitable positions, you’ll likely be raring to apply.

This is the right attitude to have, as there may be a lot of interest in your chosen company. Some employers may cap the number of applications they’ll accept, so it’s always best to get in there early to ensure yours is more likely to make the cut.

Even if there isn’t a position you like the look of straight away, drop the company a line to let them know you’d like to keep in touch.

Don’t forget the graduate fair

Forgetting about the graduate fair is a mistake many people make, but it can really impact how an employer perceives you. If you’ve spoken to the company at length at the fair, reference it in your covering letter. Just a brief mention will help you re-establish a connection with the employer before they even look at your CV.

Visit Scott Logic to find out more about the types of career in software development it has on offer.